The Central Theme of Hamlet Is the Problem of Revenge
English oral The central theme of Hamlet is the problem of revenge. One after reading Hamlet can’t disagree with this statement. Not only is revenge the central theme in Hamlet but Shakespeare also shows us why revenge is problematic. One of the things that Shakespeare wanted people to take out of his play is that revenge is not only problematic but also harmful to not only the person seeking it but those around him. First we must understand why revenge is problematic. When one’s got revenge on one’s mind he tends to think all about that and nothing else. It seems that revenge clouds his mind and therefore his decision making.
We see this when Hamlet kills Polonius thinking its Claudius, if Hamlet would have taken the few seconds to look who it was behind the curtain he would have seen it was Polonius and not Claudius. However he was so busy in seeking revenge on Claudius that even though he took all this time to make sure Claudius was guilty at the end revenge has gotten into his mind so deeply that he couldn’t even wait to check he’s killing the right person. Revenge also causes a snow ball affect and when the whole hierarchy of a state is busy with revenge the state can never be run properly.
Through the whole play Shakespeare gives us examples of why revenge is problematic. His favorite character to do this is Hamlet; he uses Hamlet to show that when one is seeking revenge it’s the only thing on his mind, and that can drive a person into madness. An example of this is the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia. At the begging of the play we get the feeling that they’re in love however after Hamlet is approached by the ghost and is told to go seek revenge we start to see Hamlet hating Ophelia and even latter on in a fight between Hamlet and Ophelia Hamlet says, “I loved you not. However then at Ophelia’s funeral Hamlet says, “Frothy thousand brothers could not with all their quantity of love make up my sun. ” Towards play end of the play Shakespeare shows us the consequences of revenge. After Hamlet kills Polonius, Laertes comes back wanting to seek revenge, because Laertes has got nothing but revenge on his mind he is easily convinced by Claudius to try and kill Hamlet. This causes Laertes to follow through with Claudius plan and which he will use a poisoned sword in a duel against Hamlet. Laertes manages to hit Hamlet with the sword however Hamlet then quickly gets the sword of Laertes and hits him.
Laertes who knows that he’s now doomed realizes how foolish he has been because he let revenge take over. He quickly confesses to Hamlet what has happened at which time the queen dies as she drunk from the poisoned drink that Claudius set up. All this causes Hamlet to finally do what he set out to do in the begging of the play and kill Claudius. We end up with the whole hierarchy of Denmark dead just because of revenge. Shakespeare clearly shows how problematic revenge can be and it’s negative affects. It’s the central theme of Hamlet and an important lesson that Shakespeare hopes we will all learn.